Posted by: jkirkby8712 | July 20, 2011

Tuesday, 19th July 2011 – news from Thailand, and 5 hours of music.

I think that today has been one of the most frustrating days on the road for many months. Although I did leave a little later than usual,  a normal 50 minute trip took almost an hour and three-quarters. And after all the frustration of that, I was not impressed by a ‘tailgater’ who seemed to expect me to drive my car  at high speed [as she was attempting] over a series of road humps in residential suburban Clifton Hill.  She was forced to adjust to my speed for that short period of time.  The road annoyance did not end there. A brief trip down to the local post office early in the afternoon also saw a two min ute return journey dragged out to over 20 minutes, due to roadworks, etc.  The return journey to Sunbury via a different route later that afternoon proved only marginally better. It was a blessed relief to get into the radio studio tonight

Our friend in Thailand, here he is, relating to me the ‘adventures’ of getting to a medical  appointment in that country. Writing on Sunday last  –   ‘Its another “5 day long weekend” in Thailand this weekend.  Its the Buddhist Lent.  Therefore ‘the wife’ has been up at 5 every morning. Expecting to “earn her merit” from the Monks (and see some “Good Luck”). Here in Korat its the annual Candle procession.
We have been going to Pak Chong – about 100 kms away. A doctor their believes he can ease the pains in her ankles\  Of course everybody knows – I’ve suffered from a “Pain in the Neck” for years.We travel in a mini-bus. A thrill-seekers ride. Which the drivers seem to all want to make the trip in under the hour.   Which includes a fuel stop.With the long weekend the 3 lane-divided highway was bumper to bumper on Friday morning at 7.30 a.m.  The trip back – at 2 p.m. in a “regular bus” took over two and a half hours. 
[Meanwhile], the Thai election is still full of surprises. The Electoral Commission has not “granted” approval of all the “successful candidates” – as yet. The Prime minister elect – 
Thaksin’s sister Yinluck, is one IN QUESTION.  There is a claim against her that she has been assisted in her campaign  by a convicted criminal – her brother Thaksin. T.I.T. A previous charge that – as she posed for a photo with a  noodle vendor and therefore  was paid for the photo with the vendor… Has been thrown-out. This Is Thailand and the stupidity still continues’.

Never one to pull back on his opinions, is our friend, I wonder how many people in Thailand would be prepared or able to speak out in that manner about their political leaders? In the meantime,  in a response, I made reference to this morning’s traffic chaos in Melbourne. I can hear him snorting in ridicule at my traffic confession –  the response back said simply  –  ‘Please do not try to believe that any traffic in Melbourne could compare with the troubles on the roads in Thailand.  Its a danger to travel in a bus. I have one friend who refuses a seat behind the driver of the bus. Will only sit on the near-side of the bus. On our recent trip to Bangkok we saw two buses rolled over on their side in the  highway ditch. At different points of the 260 km trip. This weekend the highway was full of accidents along the way. As I said bumper to bumper in the 3 lanes of the divided highway. With some drivers still wanting to weave their way through the traffic flow’.

Last night and this evening saw your personal essayist on the radio for over 5 hours – my new late Monday night program in particular continues to give me at least, lots of pleasure, and hopefully some late night radio listeners in these times of multi channelled television, and computer related facilities and entertainment. Yes, us radio people are up against it, in trying to draw an audience from the range of alternatives, even within our own industry. As I’ve  probably mentioned previously, one thing I do concentrate on for a Monday night is to play the music of Australian artists, in particular, new releases, new singers & musicians, and so on. These are artists who don’t get promoted on commercial radio, and apart from performances at gigs, pubs, etc, without the promotion by community stations such as ours,  would get little in the way of air play. Much of my music I select from the industry itself [through an organisation called AMRAP] – a program particularly dedicated to distributing this kind of music to community radio.  In their end of financial year report, AMRAP has just advised, that this CD mailout service, which was revitalised with Federal Government funding in 2008, distributed during the 2010-2011 financial year to over 300 community radio stations or their representatives some 19,667 CDs [of which I have about 15 so far] from 397 Australian music CD releases.  AMRAP packaged and posted these CDs direct to stations or other recipients, and tracked the results on behalf of the musicians, who pay a nominal fee per CD for the service.



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